29 October 2013
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s equipment is still the same since the 1960s it has been said.
Below is a commentary by former Education, Sports and Culture Minister David Coltart following Information Minister Jonathan Moyo’s heart breaking tour of the broadcaster’s studios yesterday.
“Prof Moyo, Minister of Information, commended one of the librarians at ZBC for opening her heart and tell him the truth about the state of affairs at the national broadcaster.
The female librarian was courageous enough to tell Prof Moyo in the presence of her senior managers that the system of recording information on VHS was outdated.”
These two hilarious sentences appear in the Herald today. Whilst I also commend the librarian for “telling the truth”, what is astonishing is that it took her to reveal the truth, which is immediately obvious to anyone who visits the ZBC. You just have to spend 2 minutes in the foyer to see that it is more like a museum than a broadcasting studio – it literally is a cast back to the 1970s, in fact possibly even the 1960s, because the Rhodesian Front regime was subjected to sanctions itself and so did not have up to date equipment!
But of greater concern to me is not so much the antediluvian equipment but the antediluvian mentality which exists within the hierarchy of the ZBC. That mentality itself has not changed one iota since the RBC changed its name to the ZBC. The RBC slavishly supported the Rhodesian Front as it dragged Rhodesia into war and mayhem, and the ZBC has done the same in the last 33 years. In doing so it bears a large portion of the blame for the calamitous times and situations we have been through. Its failure to inform the Zimbabwean public of the truth, its failure to inform the public of the variety of policy options, its failure to inform the public of the variety of leadership options and its complicity in the cover up of genocide, massive corruption and abuse of power in the last 33 years has contributed to Zimbabwe still having a Government it does not deserve.
So whilst I welcome the move to transform ZBC’s equipment from analogue to digital, until we have an equally digital transformation of its mindset and ethic, it will remain a moribund Stalinist institution which will continue to retard Zimbabwe’s development and transformation into a vibrant, democratic Nation. – David Coltart